“Vultures, You Know, Carry Out A Very Good Service In The Ecology”



From top: A clip from last night’s RTE documentary The Great Irish Sell Off in which Minister for Finance Michael Noonan is recalled talking about vulture funds; Joan Burton questions Mr Noonan last June

Further to last night’s documentary, The Great Irish Sell Off

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan was recalled talking about vulture funds at an oireachtas committee on housing and homelessness – in May 2016.

In response to a question from Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Ruth Coppinger, Mr Noonan said:

“You criticise me for not intervening with vulture funds. Well, it was a compliment when they were so dubbed in America because vultures, you know, carry out a very good service in the ecology. They clean up dead animals that are littered across the landscape.”

Then, in June, 2016…

…Mr Noonan faced questioning in the Dáil from the former Labour Party leader Joan Burton.

Joan Burton:Has the Minister met with the purchasers of these loans, the vulture funds and hedge funds? By and large, they bought with the idea of flipping these loans within a relatively short period of three to five years.”

“We are now at a stage where, as the Minister said, we are reducing the number of distressed mortgages, but those left in distress are probably much worse cases and many have not engaged with the process.”

Has the Minister directly met these funds? On various international trips he has occasion to meet some of these organisations or people connected with them, but has he met them in Ireland and talked about our society and how difficult the final work-out is? Many people who have not engaged are in deep difficulty and are likely to go under financially unless a structure is put in place to help them.”

Michael Noonan: “I meet various investors from time to time, at home and abroad, at their request. I cannot recall specifically meeting any of the investor companies that would generally be described as vulture funds, but if the Deputy tables a specific question I will have it researched within the records of the Department and give the Deputy a full answer.”

Then, in September, 2016…

… People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett asked Mr Noonan a similar question:

Richard Boyd Barrett: ‘Will the Minister provide details of meetings held between his Department officials and vulture funds during his terms as Minister for Finance; if he or his officials suggested to these funds that they might benefit from tax loopholes such as section 110 of the Taxes Consolidation Act or any other tax loopholes for the purposes of minimising their tax contributions; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Michael Noonan: “While the term vulture fund is not recognised in the Taxes Acts, a small number of structures that have been using section 110 TCA 1997 to avoid paying tax on Irish property transactions have been brought to my attention.  To address these concerns, on 06 September, I published a proposed amendment which tackles any misuse of the current section 110 regime in relation to Irish property. Details may be found in my press release on my Department’s website regarding Section 110s.  The amendment as published is not finalised and may be subject to further refinements to clarify certain aspects of the provision.”

“In the context of the State’s interests in Nama, IBRC, the banks and other financial institutions, my officials would have met with representatives of companies that would have been involved in bidding for and purchasing loan books.  However, at no stage would my officials have been in a position to suggest any mechanisms regarding the minimisation of tax.”

“The rationale for publishing said proposal was to ensure appropriate feedback is received on a technical and complex section of the Taxes Acts.  As is standard practice when a technically complex piece of legislation is being examined, officials from the Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners have held meetings with a broad range of stakeholders including meeting with members of the Irish Debt Securities Association, the body that represents the securitisation industry and other members of the accounting, law and tax professions.  My officials are currently in consultation to clarify certain aspects of the provision and to ensure the proposal successfully carries out the intention for which it was created. This is an ongoing process and I would like to reiterate that we welcome input from all stakeholders, including Deputies, on the matter.”

There you go now.

Earlier: Stranded

‘Judgements In Favour Of Vulture Funds Will Explode In 2017’

Transcripts via Kildarestreet.com

38 thoughts on ““Vultures, You Know, Carry Out A Very Good Service In The Ecology”

  1. Joe Cool

    I never wish ill will on anyone but him. Well , ill make an exception. Has he ever done anything good for his country or its people? It’s like he gets pleasure out of shafting people every chance he gets. Odious little man

  2. Anne

    Noonan is a sociopath IMO.

    A despicable odious cretin, with nothing but disdain for the Irish working class and middle class for that matter.

    Lest anyone forget his treatment of Bridget Cole, who was infected with Hep C
    The vindictiveness, the contempt, the casual dehumanising of the victim- was made plain and widely known when details of the dealings were made public. And yet it was no obstacle to Noonan becoming leader of Fine Gael, and later Minister of Finance.

  3. Anne

    “The rationale for publishing said proposal was to ensure appropriate feedback is received..officials from the Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners have held meetings with a broad range of stakeholders including meeting with members of the Irish Debt Securities Association, the body that represents the securitisation industry “

    Eh, I don’t remember being consulted when USC was brought in to see if I was happy with it and how it could be watered down to not actually be effective, but to just be seen to do something.

    Noonan’s been bought and sold and he hasn’t an ounce of decency about him.

  4. bertie blenkinsop

    I love the way he even has a sleeveen voice just in case you hadn’t made up your mind about him.

  5. Anne

    This makes for interesting reading –


    Here is a guide from Davys on using QIFs and Section 110s (and the difference).

    Remember, as a public document, Davy can’t “spell out” the tax implications in neon lights. You will just have to read between the lines of what Davys say to understand what is going on here.

    However, you will see that at the end of the document, Davy’s have created a new hybrid – the Super QIF. This is a QIF but with a Section 110 vehicle between the asset and the QIF (i.e. In the above analogy, like getting the hose pipe stuck into your bucket.

    As I pointed out in earlier posts, the new rulings that Revenue have being putting in place to protect the vulture’s Section 110 domestic Irish tax avoidance schemes..

    but as we have seen in earlier posts, Irish Revenue have bent over backwards when it comes to helping foreign funds in Ireland evade Irish taxes.

    It doesn’t take too much reading between the lines either reading the brochures from the likes of Davys. Limiting tax liability to effectively being nil is what I’ve seen.

    1. Billy Kremlin

      You’re out of your depth. Post articles and cherry pick quotes all you like. That doesn’t mean you understand it , let alone argue it.

      1. Freenelsonmandela

        Ah, Billy…
        You must be new here…
        You don’t know Anne’s modus operandi.

        Go easy on her. She’sa bit lost now that David Williams has gone quiet.

  6. Otis Blue

    Curiously he’s revered as some type of seer by FG types.

    A talentless, snide, sneering, over-promoted, arch gombeen.

    1. mauriac

      a few billion buys alot of TDS but the crazy thing is FG/FF are just unqualified pseudo county councillors regurgitating half understood Chicago school shibboleths while carrying out EU orders to the tea so that no one gives them the stink eye in Brussels.

  7. perricrisptayto

    He’s not too bad at picking at the carcases of his fellow citizens himself.
    Probably the most hated politician ever in this country,and that’s saying something.
    Hopefully he won’t be around for much longer. Odious doesn’t even come close.

          1. Anne

            Begs me.

            Just watching the 9 O’Clock News on RTE .. they announced evictions have been issued down in Limerick, by a vulture fund. Baldy’s home town. More details now shortly..

          2. Anne

            OakTree -Vulture Fund, want to sell up.. 3 months notice given. The Strand, Limerick. Sold to them by Nama.

          3. Old Vic

            How abusive Mildred how could you? Where’s Father Kieran out of the New York parish to pour holy cold water in your general direction???

  8. Junkface

    Irelands economics are failing its people. Noonan has ruined the lives of thousands for the foreseeable future by letting Vulture funds do what they want, no matte how immoral, AND to add insult to injury, they let them do this Tax Free! On hundreds of millions of Euro! Its sickening really.

    Hard times ahead for lots of families in Ireland thanks to Fine Gael scumbags

  9. Truth in the News

    Noonan is the greatest vulture of them all, he has fleeced his own citizens and then he presides over the wreckless
    disposal of state assets to other vultures, who then avail of Tax Loopholes provided by Noonan…..you could not
    make it up……its time we were rid of him.

  10. Hieronymus Tosh

    Retrospect is a fine thing, are we forgetting how goosed the country was at the time? The banks were about to go under and everything was on the table, you people seem to be overestimating the strength of our hand at the time. To say the situation as it stands now is distasteful is an understatement but apt as the countries economy at the time was akin to a rotting corpse, the best we can do now is establish legislation so our kids won’t have to deal with this sort of situation in the future.

    I personallly believe that getting personal with the guy moots a further points an individual makes here. Am I to believe he entered politics to achieve personal gratification from people misery? Or if financial advantage, then show me the evidence. Some of the rhetoric on this is more akin to elements of Trump supporters, the same old heads have created a nasty little vibe

      1. Hieronymus Tosh

        I’m familiar with it, it was a disgrace but if Mrs McCole’s proceedings against the state were initiated, wouldn’t the compensation tribunal be null and void, requireing the other approx 1500 people affected to initiate similar proceedings? That means dragging hundreds of serioulsly ill women through the courts for decades with the only people truly benifiting being the legal profession

          1. Hieronymus Tosh

            Would be the decent thing to do on paper but again wouldn’t that kick open the doors for individual litigation for all cases? That’s what the legal profession would have pushed for, so instead of costing the eventual €1 billion, it could end up being multiple times as much not counting the cost and time of the inevitable appeals by the government. This is speculation but I doubt the government would risk that level of bad PR just for the sake of being scumbags

          2. Taanbuaagam

            You’re not really facing the reality are you? The government has a responsibility to look after the welfare of all citizens and poisoning people with bad blood is hardly an example of doing that. In my view admitting you were wrong and admitting liability would be a far wiser PR move and actually dissuade litigants

  11. Anne

    “but if the Deputy tables a specific question I will have it researched within the records of the Department and give the Deputy a full answer. ”

    This is the standard evasive response the contemptible baldy coot comes out with.
    He knows well who he met, but he wants the TD to specify the exact company he met with, and he’ll check the records at another time.

    I mean is he implying he’s going a bit senile and can’t really remember wining and dining with these Vultures in New York, because that’s the implication of his response?

    He’s evaded questions on numerous occasions in this usual contemptible manner. Didn’t Catherine Murphy received the same responses from him in relation to the Siteserv sale to Denis O’Brien and the massive write off he got? He gave as little information as possible in a drip feed manner and wanted specifics questions asked before he would give an upfront answer. She had to go digging and submitting FOI requests over and over to put a picture together of what happened. And it was shown afterwards that the Dept of Finance and Baldy knew and had concerns of the write offs and shareholder pay off.

    He clearly feels like the Irish public have no right to know how the country is being run… how billions in taxpayer’s money is being used.
    It’s not acceptable and he’s shown he has nothing but contempt for the Irish people. What he’s done to this country is treasonous IMO and the legacy of his actions will be felt for generations.

  12. Hieronymus Tosh

    Baldy coot? Senile? Great stuff, if only everyone in the public eye could hide behind an idealistic avatar

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